Of the Church.
Chapter 26, Paragraph 9.
“…And of a Deacon that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by Prayer, and the like Imposition of hands.”
What is a deacon? Sample a smattering of churches, and you might find that not all agree on what a deacon is. Some churches give deacons the position that the Bible calls “elder”; they make decisions regarding the spiritual health of the church. Others view deacons as little more than janitors. Who is right?
The Bible gives an example of the purpose of deacon in Acts 6. The physical needs of some in the congregation were not being met. However, the apostles could not neglect the teaching and preaching of the word in order to fulfill this need. Thus men were selected to serve as deacons. They took care that those in their midst were fed. So today, deacons serve the church, ensuring that the material aspects of the church are covered.
Need for churches to be as careful and considerate of their appointing deacons as they do elders. “Can’t anyone serve tables?” you may ask. Yes, most anyone can, but when it comes to serving the physical aspects of the church, there are those appointed by Christ that are well-suited to such a task. Thus the church needs to mutually agree to the appointing of deacons, giving the same attention to prayer as they did to appointing elders. Deacons are to be ordained to their office, not swept up into it because somebody has to do it.
Deacons tend to not receive much praise. They do not speak at conferences, or write books, or are prominent in the worship service. Yet they are an indispensable office to the functioning of the local church. They are not to be treated any less than elders.
Questions to Consider
- What is the role of deacon in your church? How are they chosen?